Sabarimala Issue Didn’t Affect Polls, Says Kerala CM
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. 
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. (Photo: IANS)

Sabarimala Issue Didn’t Affect Polls, Says Kerala CM

“We are going to win big. Sabarimala issue did not affect polls in Kerala. All of us know who created troubles there.”
Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan, to the media.

In what can be considered a not-so-veiled attack, Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan placed the blame of stoking communal tensions with regard to the Sabarimala issue squarely on the BJP, and Narendra Modi.

The Kerala CM’s comments were in response to the BJP and PM Narendra Modi’s repeated accusations that the CPM had attacked the cultural ethos of Kerala. With the growing presence of the BJP in the state, Pinarayi Vijayan’s Communist government has come under repeated attack; especially in light of the Sabarimala issue.

Also Read : All You Need to Know About the Sabarimala Issue 

The Sabarimala Issue

On Wednesday, 2 January, two women created history by entering the sanctum sanctorum of the Sabarimala temple in Kerala.

The entry of Bindu (42) from Koilandy and Kanakadurga (44) from Angadipuram in Malappuram district of Kerala sparked state-wide protests. A 55-year-old Sabarimala Karma Samiti worker, who was injured in the clashes, succumbed to his injuries, news agency ANI reported.

Meanwhile, hours after the two women entered the shrine, the temple was closed for “purification rituals.”

Protests gripped Sabarimala in Kerala. As with the Jallikattu protests in Tamil Nadu, what began as a people’s protest, driven predominantly by women on both sides of the argument, took on a political colour very soon.

The protests have Lord Ayyappa devotees on one side, who cite tradition to oppose a Supreme Court judgment overturning a ban on the entry of women into the temple. On the other side, the fight has been spearheaded by women rights activists, who are determined to visit the shrine and uphold the SC’s judgment allowing women of all ages to enter.

Also Read : CPM Disrespecting State’s Culture Over Sabarimala: Modi in Kerala

The Sabarimala row became the issue that election campaigning in Kerala was pegged upon. In a state dominated by the communist party and Congress’ coalition parties since the ’70s, it was this issue that may have allowed the BJP to gain a foothold. 

Whether CM Pinarayi Vijayan’s confidence will pay off, will be seen on 23 May.

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